Vol. 6 | issue 7 | August 2012
...by the way
THERE is eerie silence in the government on the issue of the selection of IAS, IFS and IPS officers. There is a shortage of 2,300 IAS officers against the sanctioned strength of 6,077. There is a shortage of a similar number of IPS officers. The Supreme Court had ruled in 1982 that there would be a 49.5 per cent quota in government jobs for SC/ST and OBC candidates. Since that ruling, it has been observed that the Government is going slow in filling up vacancies. If the SC ruling had been implemented, nearly half of all District Collectors and Superintendents of Police would have been from the SC/ST/OBC. According to a reply submitted in Parliament, in the 149 secretary-level posts today, there are only 4 ST officers. Again, for the 108 Additional Secretary level postings, only two SC/STs candidates have been found fit while for the 477 Joint Secretary level postings, only 6.5 per cent or 31 SC candidates and 3.1 per cent or 15 ST candidates have been found to be eligible. Likewise, for the 590 posts of directors, only 2.9 per cent or 17 SC candidates and 1.2 per cent or seven STs have been appointed. The trend to reduce staff strength started when Atal Bihari Vajpayee was Prime Minister. It has been observed that in the last decade, at times only 50 or 60 vacancies were notified to the UPSC for selection of IAS/IPS/IFS officers. Who is forcing the current Government to move in this direction is not yet clear. As one member of UPSC admitted that the age relaxation for selection up to 30-35 years makes a mockery of selection of SC/ST and OBC candidates. This is because given their high average age, a majority of them become due for retirement by the time they reach the level of Joint Secretaries and only a few have the chance to reach the top-most level of Secretary or Cabinet Secretary.